Letter to the Head of State Regarding the Act on Hate Speech

Today, the HCLU has turned to Dr. László Sólyom, Head of the Republic of Hungary to request that he practice his constitutional right and send the amendment of the Civil Code, the newly passed Act on Hate Speech to the Constitutional Court for an opinion before signing it.

The HCLU objects to the passed act for undue restrictions to the Freedom of Speech, its legal policy and professionalism. In case the Head of State signs the amendment, the HCLU will initiate a submission to the Constitutional Court.

To Dr. László Sólyom
Head of State
Alexander Palace, Budapest

Dear Mr. Head of State,

On October 29th, 2007, the Parliament of the Hungarian Republic passed draft no.:T/3719, the so-called Act on Hate Speech and has amended the Act on Freedom of Speech. Please find attached the opinion of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, which has previously been issued to the Members of Parliament and in which the HCLU voices its constitutional and legal-policy solicitude.

It is the HCLU’s opinion that the draft, in light of the legal principles of the Constituional Court Order 30/1992. (V.26) and 18/2004 (V.25.), restricts the Right to Opinion in an unconstitutional and undue way. The solution chosen by lawmakers does not advance, but rather sets back the success of self-cleansing mechanisms of society against views which reject the fundamental principles of democracy.

According to the phrasing of the Constitutional Court Order 34/1992. (VI.1.) the draft wantonly and in a hardly justifiable way by the constitution, only secures increased civic legal protection for certain social positions.

As the Constitutional Court Order no.: 8/1990 (VI.23.) then later Order no.:1/1994 (I.7.) clearly states: part of the Right to Autonomy, which is highly protected by the Constitution, is the Right to Legal and Pretence Vindication. The draft does not clearly define the role of the offended individual.

By the above, as the representative of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, I turn to you, and ask that you practice your right guaranteed in the Constitution (26.§(4)) and send the draft to the Constitutional Court before signing it.

Sincerely,
Balázs Dénes
President of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union

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